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Pathways banner. Pathways15 Online. Advancing Inclusion in 2020 and Beyond. Monday 30 November - Friday 4 December



Keynote Bios

Monday 30 November

KEYNOTE: How to Talk to Colleagues about Universal Design for Learning

Photo of Dr Thomas J Tobin

Dr Thomas Tobin, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Thomas J. Tobin is the Program Area Director for Distance Teaching & Learning on the Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally recognised speaker and author on topics related to quality in technology-enhanced education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.

Before joining UW-Madison, Tobin served for five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and spent seven years in the Learning and Development arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Since the advent of online courses in higher education in the late 1990s, Tom’s work has focused on using technology to extend the reach of higher education beyond its traditional audience. He advocates for the educational rights of people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He holds a Ph.D. in English literature, a second master’s degree in information science, a professional project management certification, a master online teacher certification, Quality Matters certification, and recently completed his Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification (he tells his nieces and nephews that he is in 42nd Grade).

Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.

His books include:

  • Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (2015) with Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor.
  • The Copyright Ninja: Rise of the Ninja (2017).
  • Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (2018) with Kirsten Behling.
  • Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (2020) with Katie Linder and Kevin Kelly.

Tom was also proud to represent the United States on a Spring 2018 Fulbright Scholar fellowship, under which he helped Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary to develop its first faculty-development program, and he provided workshops and training to twelve other colleges, universities, and military programs throughout Hungary.


KEYNOTE: Digital Accessibility and a Global Inclusive Education Standard

Photo of Karen McCall

Karen McCall, Karlen Communications

Karen McCall, M.Ed. is the owner of Karlen Communications, and has been involved in digital accessibility since the late 1990’s. Her roots are in web accessibility, however, once Adobe added the capability of tagging PDF to make them accessible, her focus shifted to digital document design for accessibility and inclusion.

She has written several books on accessible document design and currently teaches accessible document design in Mohawk College’s graduate certificate program in Accessible Media Production. Karen’s book on creating and working with accessible PDF, Word and PowerPoint documents were first published in 2005 with the fourth edition of her book on creating and working with accessible PDF being published in 2017.

Since 2009, when the Ontario government began the commenting phase for their legislation on accessible education, Karen has been an active advocate for a global inclusive education standard. The standard would focus on including people with disabilities rather than accommodating for them as the default position. 

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Tuesday 1 December

KEYNOTE: Accessing fulfilling careers: developing the employability of your students

Photo of Helen Cooke

Helen Cooke, MyPlus Consulting

Helen Cooke, CEO of My Plus Consulting and Founder of the MyPlus Recruiters’ Club and MyPlus Universities’ Club, is recognised nationally as a leading expert in disability and graduate recruitment. Helen works with organisations to provide them with the expertise to be disability confident in their strategy, their processes and their engagement, and realise the possibilities of hiring and retaining more people with a disability. Clients include: Barclays, EY, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Linklaters, and Teach First.

Helen is also behind MyPlus Students’ Club. An innovative website which provides students with disabilities or long-term health conditions, the advice, support and confidence to find opportunities, approach relevant organisations and go on to realise new possibilities with progressive employers. It also provides a platform for businesses to showcase themselves as disability confident employers.
The uniqueness of Helen’s approach comes from her expertise in HR and graduate recruitment combined with her first-hand experience of disability; Helen is a wheelchair user as a result of a childhood spinal injury. She started her career on the M&S graduate management programme before moving to Mars where she spent 10 years, mostly in HR and Resourcing, before setting up her business.

In addition to her own experiences of disability, Helen has worked extensively with other disabled individuals. The majority of this experience comes from her involvement with The Back Up Trust, an organisation which supports spinally injured individuals. Helen is a mentor for the Back Up mentoring programme and became a Trustee in 2016.

Helen is an Associate member of the BDF (Business Disability Forum); is listed in the 2018 and 2020 SHAW TRUST Disability Power 100 List of ‘Most influential disabled people in the UK’; and is a Commissioner on Lord Shinkwin’s 2020 Disability Commission. 


 

Friday 4 December

KEYNOTE: AHEAD Ireland FET Project

Photo of Roisin Doherty, Ann Heelan and Thomas Tobin

Roisin Doherty, Ann Heelan, Thomas Tobin

Roisin Doherty MBA., DMS, BBS, BA, DipM, MCIM.

Director of Further Education and Training Learner Support with SOLAS. SOLAS is the Further Education and Training Authority in Ireland. Roisin drives the development of integrated, inclusive and supportive Further Education and Training [FET] learning systems delivered through strategic oversight frameworks with a focus on supporting whole of Life Learning. Roisin currently supports and contributes to the Future Transformation of FET across Ireland through a keen focus on easier access, more powerful identify, better learner experience, more simplified pathways, supporting priority cohorts and enhanced Literacy and Numeracy supports.

Roisin, a registered Teacher and Chartered Marketer, has through her previous roles as; Director FET National Training policy, Director FET National Strategy & Organisational Development, Director of FET Operations Midlands Regions, Director of FET Operations Dublin, NW, NE & West regions as well as Customer Relationship Manager in the manufacturing sector, has contributed, supported and facilitated the continuous quality improvement of Further Education and Training system for the last 25 years.

Ann Heelan, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) consultant, H.Dip. M.Education

CEO of AHEAD for 20 years, expert in teaching and learning, inclusive education and Universal Design for Learning. Originally a teacher in both HE and FET, Ann has experience of curriculum planning and assessment and has written many guidelines on needs assessment and all aspects of inclusive practice. Ann has played a leadership role introducing UDL to HE and FET supporting institutions and individuals in becoming more inclusive in their practice. She is a skilled facilitator and has worked collaboratively setting up Networks of Inclusive Practice supporting professionals to share information and solve difficulties arising from the complex nature of diversity and inclusion questions.

Ann has written a number of articles on Inclusive Study Abroad for the EAIE publications, many guidelines for AHEAD and has also recently written with Dr. Tom Tobin, the SOLAS guidance on UDL and FET 2020.

Thomas Tobin

Thomas J. Tobin is the Program Area Director for Distance Teaching & Learning on the Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally recognised speaker and author on topics related to quality in technology-enhanced education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.

Before joining UW-Madison, Tobin served for five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and spent seven years in the Learning and Development arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Since the advent of online courses in higher education in the late 1990s, Tom’s work has focused on using technology to extend the reach of higher education beyond its traditional audience. He advocates for the educational rights of people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He holds a Ph.D. in English literature, a second master’s degree in information science, a professional project management certification, a master online teacher certification, Quality Matters certification, and recently completed his Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification (he tells his nieces and nephews that he is in 42nd Grade).

Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.

His books include:

  • Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (2015) with Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor.
  • The Copyright Ninja: Rise of the Ninja (2017).
  • Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (2018) with Kirsten Behling.
  • Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (2020) with Katie Linder and Kevin Kelly.

Tom was also proud to represent the United States on a Spring 2018 Fulbright Scholar fellowship, under which he helped Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary to develop its first faculty-development program, and he provided workshops and training to twelve other colleges, universities, and military programs throughout Hungary.

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